Tuesday, December 14, 2021
God Equips You with All He Expects from You.
“May He produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, all that is pleasing to Him.”
Hebrews 13:20 NLT
My thoughts today reflect on, “Pleasing God.”
Inexorably, you will encounter people who are challenging to please. Usually, such folk are not pleased with themselves, or much of anything or anyone else. In such inevitable experiences, an unfounded fear suggests that God may be hard to please as well. His expectations are high, and His example is without parallel. He is perfect, never faltering nor failing. How could anyone please God?
I recall a regrettable ‘fatherly talk’ when our son was in high school. After my appraisal and concern of his effort, or lack thereof in average grades, I believed his effort had been less than his capability. I soon realized the conversation had been a one-sided discussion.
In reflection, our interaction was more of a stern monologue rather than a mutual discussion of my concern. For his sake and future, I felt that he should not accept less than his best effort. In reflection, I realized I had been more intense than I meant to be. Yes, his grades mattered, but not as much as he mattered to me.
A little later, I found him still in his room. My heart broke as I heard him say, “Dad, there’s nothing I do that pleases you.” In that exaggeration, his pain became my pain. As I sat down on the bed beside him, I reassured him that my temporary displeasure with his grades did not lessen my love and regard for him. Whatever he learned that day, I learned as much.
Have you ever wondered if God is difficult to please? God is sad like I was when we assume He will not be pleased. Jesus teaches and models the opposite. His Father was loving and clear, “This is My beloved Son; I am fully pleased with Him.” 2 Peter 1:17-18 NLT. Fully pleased! What an incredible affirmation. For us, Jesus models a certain assurance that God takes pleasure in His family.
When you truly know that God is pleased with you, you live with a liberty that is hard to explain, as well as courage to live life with boldness and conviction. Of course, Jesus pleased God. He was the Son of God. But what about you and me? We deal with ours and others humanity every day.
The Bible records this remarkable statement about a man much like us: “By faith Enoch had a testimony, that he pleased God.” Hebrews 11:5 NLT. If Enoch could please God, you and I can. Authentic faith and obedience please God. Read Hebrews 11:6. Sincere obedience pleases God. 1 John 3:22-23 NIV. A worthy life pleases God. Colossians 1:10 NIV. Doing good and sharing pleases God. Hebrews 13:16 NLT. Those are just a sample, but they are non-negotiable.
Pleasing God is not about perfect performance; it about complete trust and obedience. Here is the secret of God’s empowerment. “And now, may the God of peace . . equip you with all you need for doing His will. May He produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, all that is pleasing to Him.” Hebrews 13:20 NLT. Read that aloud and stand staunchly in its penetrating truth.
Our loving Father will enable you to do what you otherwise could not. Ponder this. God equips you with all He expects from you. And God will produce in you what is pleasing to Him. “That you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please Him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God.” Colossians 1:10 NIV.
With the help of Jesus, and the power of the Holy Spirit, you and I can do what God asks. Our Almighty God enables you to do what you cannot do in your own strength. Yet we can boldly say, “I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13 NLT.
My prayer is that you give God your best and trust Him for the rest.
Love you, Poppa.
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